We’ve Gotten the Sale…Now What?

The customer has said yes. He or she will buy our product and service.

Now what do we do?

1.  Shut Up and Get Out

As Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire Mayor of New York City, puts it so well:

First, always ask for the order, and second, when the customer says yes, stop talking.

We have sufficiently proven our product’s benefits on the customer’s hot buttons. We are done:

  • Any more information or discussion of these benefits will dilute the effect of what we have said so far.
  • Our additional sales effort may end up confusing the customer.
  • We are wasting the customer’s precious time.

2.  Make the Next Steps Simple and Painless

We need to not confuse the customer with overly burdensome credit applications, onerous contracts, or endless red tape. Yes, credit apps and/or contracts may need to be filled out and signed. But, we need to make it as easy as possible.

3. Perform

As a company, we need to do what we say and perform on the first order in order to get the second or the third order. That first order sets the table for the entire relationship. Getting off to a bad start with a late delivery, the wrong products, or poor quality all too often destroys the budding relationship before it even gets started.

4. Follow-up

We need to follow up right after we have performed on that first order. This is the critical first step to customer satisfaction.

  • We need to ensure that the order went well.
  • We need to confirm that the customer’s hot buttons were all satisfied
  • We need to thank the customer for their business
  • We need to ask about other customer problems we can solve
  • We need to ask for the next order

Caution: It is not yet time for us to ask for a recommendation. Only after several orders should we ask for that referral. We need to have proven ourselves first.

Conclusion

The immediate after-sale is crucial to creating a long term customer relationship. By performing well and following up punctually, we are reminding the customer of how smart they were to buy from us in the first place.

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About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
This entry was posted in Perform / Execution, Sales and Marketing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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